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Amy Schneider makes ‘Jeopardy!’ history, breaks record of most wins by a woman

On Wednesday's episode, she broke the previous record set by Julia Collins in 2014.
"Jeopardy!" contestant Amy Schneider
Amy Schneider on a previous episode of "Jeopardy!""Jeopardy!" / YouTube
/ Source: TODAY

Amy Schneider made history on the popular daytime game show “Jeopardy!” that aired on Wednesday, winning for the 21st time and breaking the record for most wins by a woman.

In Tuesday's episode, she had tied the 2014 record set by Julia Collins.

Schneider explained on Tuesday’s show that the sweater she was wearing was in honor of Collins, who had donned a similar look for her 20th win.

"Julia Collins won 20 games and so this is my 20th game and so I just wanted to wear a sweater in tribute," she explained. "She was definitely one of my favorite ‘Jeopardy!’ champions.”

Schneider has already put her name in the “Jeopardy!” record books. Earlier this month, the engineering manager from Oakland, California, became the first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.

She’s previously said that she didn’t want to make her appearances on the show "too much about being trans" but she is "proud"  to be a trans woman.

"The fact is, I don’t actually think about being trans all that often, and so when appearing on national television, I wanted to represent that part of my identity accurately: as important, but also relatively minor. But I also didn’t want it to seem as if it was some kind of shameful secret," she said at the time. "While it’s gratifying to know that people didn’t necessarily know I was trans until they read about it, I do want people to know that aspect of me. I think being trans is really cool!"

As of Wednesday night, Schneider has earned $806,000, up from her Tuesday night total of $768,600. She had already broken the record for highest overall earnings by a woman on the show earlier this month — topping Larissa Kelly’s $655,930 total earlier this week.

Schneider is in fourth place for highest winnings in regular-season play and in consecutive games won, trailing Amodio, Holzhauer and Jennings.  

She will have to win 12 more games to top Holzhauer’s 2019 third-place record of 32 consecutive wins.

Schneider said in a recent interview that she hopes her appearances on the classic show inspire future trans contestants.

“That just because you haven’t seen anybody do it yet doesn’t mean somebody isn’t going to do it... Whatever it is you want to do, it can be done,” she told GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group. 

EDITOR'S NOTE (Dec. 29, 2021): This story has been updated to reflect Schneider breaking the record set she previously tied on Dec. 28, 2021.